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What Is ‘The Apple Experience’?

Happy Birthday, Apple Store

Stephen Green


May 20, 2014 - 8:14 am

The first Apple Store opened 13 years ago yesterday in McLean, Virginia. What’s remarkable is how little Apple had to sell at first.

There was no iPad until 2010, no iPhone until 2007, and even the iPod didn’t debut until months later in October of 2001. Pretty much all Apple had at the time was the four Mac product lines — iMac, iBook, Power Mac and PowerBook. None sold in any great numbers.

Watch the video and you’ll see what Apple did have to sell — “the Apple experience,” for lack of a better phrase. Buy a Mac and you enter the world of the Mac as your digital hub, and the Apple Store was the place where they’d teach you how to put it all together. The hub is now cloud-based, but the experience customers buy into is the same — great gear which comes with well-trained “geniuses” to help you get the most out of it.

Other companies make great product — maybe not insanely great, but still — but they can’t duplicate Apple’s experience from purchase, through training, and, yes, through the inevitable problems and eventual upgrades.

Tech geeks who look at price and specs without ever actually shopping at an Apple Store, or talking to people about why they do, suffer from a very bad case of Just Not Getting It. And that’s OK, because price & specs is all that many people need when making a buying decision. But for millions more, there are now 424 stores in 16 countries — and they generate more profit per square foot than any other retail store anywhere, ever.

Not bad for a company which had no prior retail experience and had been weeks away from bankruptcy just four years before opening its first store.


Cross-posted from Vodkapundit

Stephen Green began blogging at in early 2002, and has served as PJMedia's Denver editor since 2008. He's one of the hosts on PJTV, and one-third of PJTV's Trifecta team with Scott Ott and Bill Whittle. Steve lives with his wife and sons in the hills and woods of Monument, Colorado, where he enjoys the occasional lovely adult beverage.

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All Comments   (6)
All Comments   (6)
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The Apple Experience for me is two things: Efficiency & ease of use. The result, of course, is convenience. I have yet to venture beyond the iPhone & iPad, however, as their PCs are prohibitively expensive. I don't imagine that I'd have a hard time adjusting to a Mac though.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Apple Experience is... not being able to use the right mouse button for anything useful.

Why are they so dead against a very good idea? Just because Bill came up with it?

41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Actually, Apple's current mouse has no buttons at all, and it is the most delightful and useful mouse I've owned in 20 years of Windows and Mac computing.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
BFD. So you buy a 2 or 3 button mouse.

I've NEVER used an Apple mouse and also NEVER owned a PC since 1985. Prior to that used a Kaypro (know what CPM is Mark? It's the OS Gates ripped off, changed a few lines of code and called it MSDOS to sell it to IBM).

Stupid comment, Mark.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Stupid response, Bill. Comes from being a blind Apple fan-boy, I guess, and not really knowing much.

Buy a 2 or 3 button mouse and plug it into your Mac, and you get very few additional functions. Basically, the OS doesn't know what to do with the extra buttons.

Windoze and Linux make good use of them. Apple does not. It's stupid.

BTW, DOS wasn't based on CPM. It was based on QDOS, which was patterned after CPM, but didn't share any actual code. Tim Patterson, who wrote QDOS, took a CPM user manual and built an operating system that did the same things. He didn't have access to the source code. Gates bought it from him.

My first PC was a CPM machine.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mark v --

You need to update your flamewar material. Macs have enjoyed fully-functional multi-button mice since the introduction on OS X nearly a decade and a half ago.

But smart users have enjoyed -- as previously described -- Apple's ZERO button "magic" mice since 2009.

1999 called and wants your complaints back.
40 weeks ago
40 weeks ago Link To Comment
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